Scammell Mechanical Horse

The Scammell mechanical horse sits outside the museum entrance.
The Scammell mechanical horse sits outside the museum entrance.

PLEASE NOTE: The Scammell left Ingrow on 14 June 2008 for a new home in Derbyshire.


Scammell introduced the 3 ton and 6 ton Mechanical Horses in the early 1930s. They were given the name because they were designed to hitch up to the drays, carts and wagons that were originally drawn by horses, of which the railways had large numbers. In the increasing motor traffic of the 1930s the horse was finding it difficult to fulfill its carrier role of the past. This new 'horse' was much speedier and much easier to manoeuvre around the busy streets, and was also very economical. Mechanical Horses were used widely by British Railways until the 1970s.

Restoration of the vehicle is now completed. It carries a blue livery which has been matched as closely as possible to LNER blue. Magnetically-adhesive panels allow display on the cab doors of either the LNER coat of arms or the insignia of Messrs Tate & Lyle, from whom the vehicle is loaned. The tractor unit is licensed and insured for use on the road but sadly has as yet seen little operation in preservation. 

This vehicle, index number CAN 863, which dates from 1948, was on loan to Vintage Carriages Trust from Messrs. Tate and Lyle, the sugar refiners.

The Trust also had on loan from Tate & Lyle a trailer of the type that would have been used with the 'horse'. 

This particular Scammell achieved fame after Vintage Carriages Trust received a Notice of Intended Prosecution from Greater Manchester Police, who alleged that the vehicle had been driven at 44 miles per hour in a 30 m.p.h. zone at Bury Road, Bolton on 11th June 2002:

                           Speeding fine for 18 mph museum piece  by courtesy of Manchester Evening News

                           Speeding ticket for museum piece   by courtesy of Keighley News

                           Neigh lad, you are flogging an iron horse   by courtesy of Telegraph & Argus

                           When Dobbin gave way to that magic mechanical horse  by courtesy of Telegraph & Argus


The Scammell attended the Mechanical Horse Club's rally at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton, near York on 28th - 29th September 2002.  


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